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Gattis shows why he's in lineup with three hits

Despite defensive limitations, left fielder is batting .500 in NLDS vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- While the Braves would rather forget Sunday's 13-6 loss to the Dodgers, one of the few bright spots proved to be left fielder Evan Gattis.

He was the only player in the Braves' lineup to record three hits, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

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"I don't think you could ask for anything more from him," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's doing a nice job."

What Gattis lacks in defensive prowess as a converted catcher in left field, he makes up for at the plate. In the first three games of the NLDS, he is hitting .500 (5-for-10) with two walks and two runs scored.

"I just have a better approach," Gattis said. "It's, 'What do you want from this at-bat?'"

Gonzalez said before Sunday's game that he wanted to go with an offensive-minded outfield that includes Gattis, knowing just what his upside brings to the table.

Gattis didn't wait long to reaffirm his manager's decision, hitting an RBI single to center field in the first inning that scored Justin Upton.

The left fielder showed his patience in the third, hitting a single to center field in an 11-pitch at-bat against Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. His final hit came on a single to left field in the ninth.

Gattis' performance in the postseason has been a continuation of his regular-season numbers, in which he led all Major League rookies in RBIs (65) and ranked second in home runs (21).

While Gattis was pleased with his performance, he would have preferred to be on the winning end of Sunday's game. However, he isn't concerned about the Braves' ability to bounce back for Game 4.

"I don't think we're going to have a problem putting this behind us," Gattis said. "It's the same story all year -- win the game today."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for

Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis